"Through the Public Higher Education Empowerment and
Innovation Act, SUNY brought forward positive, zero-cost solutions during a
time of serious fiscal problems. This legislation would strengthen the entire
SUNY system while improving our economy and the quality of life for New
Yorkers. Unfortunately, the final budget contains none of the Empowerment Act's
provisions while enacting over $210 million in additional cuts to SUNY –
bringing the three-year total to a 30 percent reduction of our operating
"Not passing the Empowerment Act this budget cycle is a
missed opportunity for the State of New York. Above all, we are concerned for
SUNY’s students and the state’s economy. The combination of severe cuts now
exceeding more than $634 million and no regulatory relief nor enhanced
entrepreneurial flexibility will seriously compromise New York’s ability to
harness SUNY’s 64 campuses as its greatest educational and economic asset.
"We want to thank SUNY's many supporters who have stood
with us during this critical time, including students, faculty, campus
presidents, administrators and staff, alumni, trustees and system and campus governance
leaders, building trades unions, economic
development organizations, business leaders, local, county and federal
officials, state legislators, the Governor, and the majority of New Yorkers.
"With this strong support, we remain optimistic that the
legislature and its leaders will stay true to its promise and come to a
three-way agreement on the Empowerment Act in the very near future.
"Meanwhile, we will continue to advocate for reforms
that are essential for fullest access to a quality public higher education and
essential for our state’s economic revitalization, and move forward on SUNY's
strategic plan, The Power of SUNY. Our students – and all New Yorkers –
deserve nothing less."
About the State University of New York
The State University of New
York is the largest comprehensive university system in the United States, educating nearly 465,000 students in 7,351 degree and certificate programs
on 64 campuses. To learn more about how SUNY creates opportunity, visit www.suny.edu
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